FBI Raids Business of Congressman's Wife
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The FBI on Friday raided the Northern Virginia home consulting business owned by the wife of Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), whose ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff have been under investigation for two years, sources familiar with the matter said. Agents seized computers and documents.
Doolittle's wife, Julie, operates Sierra Dominion Financial Services Inc. out of the couple's home in Oakton. Since 2005, a Justice Department task force has been looking into payments made by Abramoff and other lobbyists to Doolittle's wife and the spouses of other lawmakers.
Julie Doolittle has denied wrongdoing. "Sierra Dominion Financial Services, and its owner, Mrs. Julie Doolittle, have cooperated for years, and continue to cooperate, in the ongoing investigation of the Jack Abramoff matter," said her lawyer, William L. Stauffer Jr.
Doolittle said in a statement: "My wife has been cooperating with the FBI and the Justice Department for almost three years and that cooperation is going to continue in the future. I support my wife 100 percent and fully expect that the truth will prevail."
On Friday, Kevin Ring, who served as legislative director to Doolittle before joining Abramoff's lobbying team, resigned as a lobbyist for Barnes & Thornburg. Ring also has been under Justice Department scrutiny.
Abramoff hired Julie Doolittle's firm to raise funds for a charity he founded. Sources said that Ring was an intermediary in the hiring of Julie Doolittle's firm.